It is not in any way a bold statement that, in these times especially, there is no shortage of outlets where we can focus our positive energy and action. The world needs love, and it should not matter what that love looks like or what shape it takes. Bluntly put, we have more grievous issues to deal with than attempting to restrict an individual’s right to love whomever they choose. If you do not already get that, watch this simply beautiful new video from 20-year old Australian artist Madison Daniel for her song “Love Is Love,” and then tell me that it does not move you to soften your heart. I’ll wait.
Already a commercial hit in Australia, “Love Is Love” officially made its US debut by way of Spotify, and now via this inspiring music video. “Love Is Love” delves into why we as human beings need to rid ourselves and our world of judgement and bias, and allow our fellow human beings to love as they wish. The song was originally written by Madison in celebration of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia, an issue near and dear to the artist’s heart, but its message is worldwide and certainly relevant to the US political climate.
Follow Madison Daniel on Instagram at @Madsee. Enjoy!
I rarely post cover tunes in this column, but this interpretation of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” — courtesy of Oakland, California-based cross-genre rockers Omnesia — is just too much of a good time to pass up. Calling themselves a Synth Dance Pop Rock Duo, Omnesia creates a lush, organic soundscape based around the significant talents of vocalist Medella Kingston and guitarist Matthias Miller (M2), and it is pretty mind-blowing.
Aurally, Omnesia’s arrangement of this sixties’ classic harnesses the menacing, dirge-y rythmic aspects of the original while revealing an engaging knack for experimentation with otherworldly horn accents. Visually, “Boots” is the perfect blend of artsy and amateurish: with vintage stills of Sinatra and her go-go booted dance posse, live performance clips of the duo onstage, and silly vignettes of Kingston and Miller demonstrating what has come to be known as The Madness Dance, as popularized in that band’s video for the song “One Step Beyond” — a hat tip to Omnesia’s deep-rooted and eclectic musical influences, perhaps. You can tell they had a blast making this video as well, and that makes it even more fun to watch.
“Boots” can be found on Omnesia’s upcoming 14-track release, World On Fire, due out shortly. In the meantime, why not check out their debut album, Painkiller, at This Link! Enjoy!
You know what I never get tired of? Sassy ladies and their punk rock anthems. Seriously, I could listen to songs like “I’m Over It” from Los Angeles-based artist Blushh all day long. Because that is how I roll. We’re closing in on the end of summer pretty quickly, and I am trying to milk it for all its worth by posting any video with a vibe that’s even tenuously-related to summer, for which “I’m Over It” qualifies, because a swimming pool comes into play. Any port in a storm.
Anywhey, after sitting down to breakfast and discovering that she is out of her favorite cereal, Blushh takes the bus to a Birthday party that she seems to be concerned about arriving to on time. In fact, she arrives so late that the party is way over, and she wanders though the detritus of post-celebration decor (strongly influenced by the color scheme at IKEA) before snacking on admittedly-delicious-looking cold pizza, wandering out to the backyard, and diving fully-clothed into the pool. Because, she is over it. To find out what happens next, check out this rad video! Recommended to all who love the sassy punk ladies, “I’m Over It” can be found on Blushh’s recently released, 5-song EP Thx 4 Asking, out now on Yellow K Records. Enjoy!
Were you by any chance one of those youngsters who loved to play records up in your bedroom, dancing and rocking out in front of the mirror while singing passionately into your hair brush? If that scenario sounds familiar, I’ve got an amazing clip for you on this nostalgia-filled Sunday morning. Please allow me to introduce you to Liz Cooper & The Stampede, the retro bliss that is their tune “Hey Man,” and its sublime accompanying video.
As the clip kicks off, a suburban mom welcomes her friends to a home Make Up Party. Meanwhile, up in her bedroom, her sassy young daughter (played impeccably by 11-year old Madysen Reilly, who totally owns the role) pops a tape of “Hey Man” into her cassette player, lip syncing to Liz’s come-hither croon, and living out her rock and roll fantasy as if there was no tomorrow. It isn’t long before mom and her friends are so distracted by the rockin’ tunes coming from upstair that they get carried away and release their inhibitions . . . maybe a bit too much.
Aurally, “Hey Man” sounds like it was lifted off one those Nuggets collections of ’60s psychedelic garage rock. Does it get any better than that? I do not think it does. Directed by Anna Zorn, of Chicago’s Second City, “Hey Man” is the second single and video from Liz Cooper & The Stampede’s much-anticipated debut full-length album, Window Flowers, schedule to land on August 10th, 2018 on the band’s own label, Sleepyhead Records (Thirty Tigers). Enjoy!
Something I did not imagine I would ever be doing is posting a new video from alternative rock radio darlings Live in this column – and one featuring all four original members, no less! I admit that, not only because I was pretty sure that Live had broken up in a manner that could only be described as ‘acrimonious,’ but also because I had heard from sources that would know that lead singer Ed Kowalczyk had kind of, well, turned into dick. I guess that Ed must have worked through his issues, because Patrick (Dahlheimer) and the two Chads (Gracey and Taylor) have accepted him back into the fold, and Live is back to making the skull-splittingly-brilliant music that, at one point in the ’90s, made them The Biggest Band in the World — at least if this clip for “Love Lounge” is any indication. Wow. Wonders truly never cease.
If you are fans of old-school Live, you will be blown away by the sonic locomotive that is “Love Lounge.” Holy shit, Ed‘s voice is in top shape, and he is still one of the sexiest, most charismatic front men in rock. You don’t even need me to tell you anything else about this song except that, aurally, Live still have it going on. “Love Lounge” sounds like no time has passed since the glory day of Throwing Copper, except that Live somehow got ever better. Visually, you’ve got a wall of golden skulls, a high roller’s poker game, and a graffiti-covered tunnel as the major back drops that “Love Lounge” plays against. And then, there’s Ed looking like a stone solid rock god. It’s not anything I thought I would see again. And yet, here it is.
Ladies and gentlemen, Live is back. Enjoy!
Chad Taylor, Ed Kowalcyck, Chad Gracey and Patrick Dahlheimer are Live
While comparisons will be immediately made between Israel Nash’s “Lucky Ones” and Neal Young’s “Harvest Moon,” I doubt that Nash would complain at all about being mentioned in the same sentence as one of the greatest American songwriters of all time. The similarities are not just for Nash’s vocal delivery, but also for the song’s lush wistfulness and the really top-notch songwriting that includes a jaw-droppingly flawless instrumental arrangement and incredible word economy that tells you all you need to know about the kind of artist he is in under 4 minutes. Wow. High fives all around on this one.
Visually, we get to see Nash looking very much like a young Gregg Allman, as he explores the land on his ranch in the Texas Hill Country, recording the sounds of nature that were meticulously incorporated into various songs during the recording of his new album. It’s so fresh and so understated, you almost don’t even notice when it’s over. “Lucky Ones” can be found on Lifted, out July 27th, 2018 on Desert Folklore Music / Loose Music. Recommended if you like any of these artists: Neil Young, The Eagles, The Byrds, Joseph Arther, Gomez, The Sheepdogs. Enjoy!
People will say that originality is overplayed: I disagree. While it may be virally impossible to do anything truly original within the pop music landscape, that does not mean that intermingling the definitive essences of two bands that really have nothing in common — and that may or may not even be verifiable influences on the band performing the music in question — isn’t going to be utterly mind-blowing. What am I even talking about? It’s this week’s Sunday Jam, the curiously named “Pollyanna,” which comes to us from the experimental progressive rockers called Visitors. Successfully combining the best of Yes‘ most LSD-ridden mindfuck prog meandering with Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Ferrell releasing his Id with wild abandon, this song is intense.
Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, Visitors is Ian Cooperstein (Vocals, Lapsteel), Bryan Lee (Drums), Ian Hilton (Guitar), Ty Brigman (Guitar), and Bassist Cameron Jorgensen, whose lyrical bass runs definitely recall those of the late, great Chris Squire, who is possibly the greatest progressive rock bass player of all time. Just being serious. “Pollyanna” can be found on Visitors‘ upcoming debut album, Crest, which is out on July 13th, 2018. Enjoy!